IAA: What is your music background?
BAG OF TRICKS CAT: My grandma was the singer of the 1959 “Felix the Cat” theme song. She was also a big band singer on the east coast during the 50’s. Here is an article about her: http://www.azcentral.com/community/glendale/articles/2009/04/08/20090408gl-felix0408-ON.html. She inspired me to make music. I learned how to read and write at a very young age, and one day I just started writing poems. As I got older the poems I was writing turned into raps. I wrote my very first rap when I was 10 years old. I started recording when I was 12 with only a yamaha keyboard, boom box, and blank cassette. A year or two later, I was rapping on USB Gamer microphones into Audacity using instrumentals downloaded off of Limewire. Then a year or 2 after that I started recording on Garage Band and Logic Pro with a poor Dynamic microphone and a USB interface. I’ve recorded in so many closets and bedrooms that I have lost count. Now I record in professional commercial studios. I’ve worked with several respected artists in Arizona. Bookie, who is known for his g funk classic “stressing”, has made and produced several records with me. I have also worked with MegaRan aka Random Beats and Mav of Sol Camp. Besides my solo music, I’m in a hip-hop group called “The Bakers.” We’ve opened up for several mainstream acts in Arizona: Yo Gotti, Ghostface Killah, Sheek Louch, Elzhi, and Talib Kweli. My debut project is being released May 28th. It was made with a member of my group “The Bakers” TMK (The Mic Killa.) The album is called “Southwest Living: Live from the Oven.” I also engineer and make beats on the side.
IAA: Why do you want to record and release your own music?
BAG OF TRICKS CAT: Music is in my blood. I have a lot of things I want to say, and I know I can say them perfectly through music.
IAA: What are your songs about?
BAG OF TRICKS CAT: My songs are about my life and the lives of people close to me. I have a song called “Check the Forecast”. It is about the violence and corruption that goes on in Arizona, and how the musicians out here are overlooked. I have a song called “Friends” on my upcoming project about being stuck in the friend zone with a girl that you really like. Whatever I’m feeling when I sit down and write a song is what my songs are about.
IAA: Who is your fan base directed towards?
BAG OF TRICKS CAT: My fan base is directed towards people who like good music and hip-hop. I’ve had teenagers who are only 15 tell me they listen to my music. I’ve also had people who are 35 tell me they listen to my music. I think I have something for everyone. I feel like the things I talk about are easy to relate to wherever you’re from and no matter how old you are, especially if you’re from The Oven.
IAA: Who are your musical influences?
BAG OF TRICKS CAT: My grandma greatly influenced me. The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Eminem, 2Pac, Jay-Z, Talib Kweli, Common, Lupe Fiasco, Nas, and Anthony Hamilton have also been great influences.
IAA: How would you describe your music to people?
BAG OF TRICKS CAT: I would describe it as Alternative Hip-Hop. There’s definitely a “Golden Age” influence when you hear it. I’d describe my music as honest and raw.
IAA: What makes you stand out from other artists?
BAG OF TRICKS CAT: My concept, skill, logo, image, and sound make me stand out. I don’t rap like the “rappers” on the radio. I don’t look like the “rappers” on your TV. My logo is already a huge part of pop culture, and I’m making it relevant again.
IAA: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?
BAG OF TRICKS CAT: I have my debut album with TMK (The Mic Killa) coming out on May 28th titled “Southwest Living: Live from the Oven” I have a solo EP/mixtape coming out towards the end of the summer called “Half & Half: Too Broke for Whole Milk.” We’re currently filming a music video for one of the singles on Southwest Living and have plans to film two more. I also have two music videos being planned out for my solo EP. I’m also going to begin booking shows this June for the rest of the summer. I have a couple more tricks in my bag too.
IAA: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
BAG OF TRICKS CAT: I want to consistently release new music, videos, and do shows in my state and eventually nationwide. I already have designs for my own clothing company, so fashion is going to be a key revenue stream in my hustle. I’d like to get mainstream features and production, and eventually chart on iTunes or even Billboard. 10 years from now, I’d like to have my own label and for everyone to know who The Bag of Tricks Cat is.
IAA: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
BAG OF TRICKS CAT: www.bagoftrickscat.com